By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Chairman of Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU)University of Ilorin branch, Dr. Usman Abdul Raheem has condemned the recent purported move by some members of the national leadership of the union to impose a minority as new executive council of the union in the institution despite the peaceful conduct of last election of the executive council of the union in the university.
He however called on the national leadership of the union to stay away from such fruitless efforts in order not to truncate the current peaceful efforts being put in place to reintegrate the local chapter of the union into its national fold.
Speaking with our correspondent in Ilorin, Kwara State capital on Friday over the development, AbdulRaheem said that, “With due respect to ASUU NEC, it should note the futility of the method of invasion in a manner similar to gangsterism and the outdated gestapo approach as such methods had failed in 2003, 2009 and 2013 to achieve an amicable resolution of the Unilorin ASUU crisis.
“The invasion of the peaceful campus of the University of Ilorin by ASUU NEC working to reinstall a minority group on the majority through a violent process is therefore condemnable and condemned by the majority of the Academic Staff of this University.
“Majority of the academic staff of the University of Ilorin were willing and ready to reintegrate with the National body provided the NEC was ready to put in place a transparent process that is all inclusive and accommodate the opinions of the majority of members at the branch”.
AbdulRaheem explained that, “Unilorin ASUU had never been averse to returning to the mainstream of ASUU hence there had been ongoing talks with the national leadership of ASUU through the zonal branch” .
He also noted that both parties had agreed to withdraw the court cases instituted on the matter since the crisis began while discussions were ongoing on the lifting of bans placed on some notable leaders of the union in the university of Ilorin before the ASUU national leadership recently attempted to impose the leadership of about 13 members over that of well over 1000 members in the university in a kangaroo election which only external members participated in.
“We were to say the least embarrassed by the development because we were expecting their reaction to the issue of withdrawal of court cases and lifting of suspension on our members here,then we can start the election process.
“The truth is that only 7 of the 49 lecturers returned by the supreme Court judgement are presently in the university, and at the last count during their meeting, they are 13,so we can never be afraid of going into election with them” he added.
Continuing, he urged the national leadership of ASUU to face the reality and embrace the ongoing negotiation if they really want peace, because foisting the far minority on our vast majority by whatever means could never work.
It would be recalled that tension enveloped University of Ilorin recently over attempts by some members of national leadership of Academic staff Union of universities (ASUU)to install a faction of the local chapter of the union which was rebuffed by the management.
Some members of ASUU from various universities who had arrived Ilorin for the inauguration were prevented from entering the university, gathered at the gate chanting union songs claiming that other members were inside.
Armed security operatives were at the university gate screening people as they entered the university premises to forestall breakdown of law and order.